2020 was a year to remember. The world witnessed a series of events starting with the unanticipated news of wildfires in Australia, the gradual rise of a virus in China which resulted in a global lockdown, Americans took to the street to protest the rise of racial discrimination and police brutality and if that wasn’t enough, the port explosion in Beirut shook the world.
Millions lost their lives to the virus, as well as to calamities and violence in 2020. But in the midst of all of it there have been stories of hope and joy that have restored our faith in humanity. When we hear and see these stories, we must do everything we can to let someone know that hope is all around us.
These are some of the news below that are a breath of fresh air as we’re recovering from 2020. These positive news that occurred during the pandemic remind us that a balance of news is always healthy for the soul.
Jacinda Ardern leads by example
Currently one of the world’s most influential and admired public figures, Jacinda Ardern is leaving imprints of change for women all over the world. While governments globally did everything in their might to protect their boundaries, New Zealand announced that there were no community transmissions for 17 days and patients had achieved full recovery. Thousands of cases were reported in other countries while New Zealand dealt with barely 100 cases a day.
Jacinda Ardern and her council were appreciated for tackling the pandemic remarkably which was only possible by her choice of making some difficult decisions. This speaks in volumes about a woman’s potential to lead by compassion, intelligence and strength. From bringing her 3-month old daughter to the United Nations General Assembly to displaying her empathy to the victims of Christ Church mosque shootings in 2019, the world needs more female leaders like Jacinda Ardern.
When Two Ballet Dancers passion brought global recognition
11-year old Anthony Mmesoma Madu from Nigeria and 17-year old Kamal Singh from Delhi are linked by their passion for Ballet. The two young aspirants achieved global recognition for their exemplary skill of dancing like no one’s watching.
Anthony Mmesomea Madu from Lagos, Nigeria became popular after a video of him dancing in the rain went viral. In the light of this circulation, he received a scholarship to learn Ballet from the US. Kamal Singh from Delhi sent his videos to English National Ballet School in London and got selected which makes him the first Indian to be chosen at the prestigious academy.
Uniting People by the Power of Food
The pandemic hasn’t been easy for many, especially for small-scale businesses. An old couple running a tiny food joint called Baba Ka Dhaba in Delhi were left with barely Rs 100 and were in need of financial help. They broke down at one point and this was captured by a food blogger who eventually circulated it making this viral.
Locals thronged to their stall to taste their delicious food and hundreds came forward to help the old couple run their daily livelihood. Today they’ve successfully opened a little restaurant with the financial aid they received. This displays the power of technology if utilized in the right manner. Let’s also be reminded that kindness will never fade away.
Opera for Plants
Yes, you’ve read that right. 2020 was different in every aspect of the word and an opera for plants is a testament to that. On June 22, Barcelona’s El Liceu opera house reopened with its first concert to an audience of 2,292 plants a day after Spain lifted the lockdown.
Conceptualised by artist Eugenio Ampudia, the objective of the opera was to pay a tribute to nature. There is so much to take away from a gesture as this as nature has accommodated man’s greed time and again and this concert was a reminder of that.
After the concert, all the plants were donated to healthcare professionals working on the frontlines against the virus.
The Discreet Messiah
In the midst of dire grief and helplessness, a few people have set examples of hope and change. One such person is Bollywood actor, Sonu Sood.
While the world was left to work from the confines of their homes, this entitlement was impractical for thousands of migrant workers in India. These migrant workers were unable to find work in cities and were neither in a position to return back to their hometowns as public transport wasn’t functioning at the usual frequency.
Sonu Sood helped more than 15,000 migrant workers reach their homes while also arranging food and shelter for more than 45,000 other people stuck in the lockdown. The actor was hailed globally for his actions and was also awarded for this noble deed.
There is compassion, love and kindness all around us if we believe in it. This reminds me of a time when I was shopping at a grocery store in Qatar and ahead of me stood a middle-aged woman with her mother. Ahead of them stood three construction labourers who were getting a few things billed. The woman billed their items along with hers and this gesture left me and the cashier speechless. That meant nothing to her, but this 15-year old encounter is still etched in my mind.
Let this stay with you as well.